Damage Tracking for Helicopters

Period of Performance: 06/13/2006 - 08/26/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microstrain, Inc.
459 Hurricane Lane, Suite 102
Williston, VT 05495
Principal Investigator


The goal of this Phase II SBIR proposal is to design, build, test, and demonstrate next generation energy harvesting wireless sensors for real time load measurement and structural damage tracking on helicopters. Energy harvesting allows the realization of wireless monitoring systems that do not require battery maintenance. During Phase I, our energy harvesting wireless sensors were optimized for helicopter pitch links. A working laboratory demonstration, replicating level helicopter flight, was provided to the Navy for pitch link strain and load monitoring applications. During Phase II, these systems will be miniaturized, shielded, environmentally hardened, environmentally tested, and flight tested on helicopters. The rugged, miniaturized sensing systems that will result from the Phase II effort will be well suited to perform in military vehicles. By combining energy harvesting & storage, micro-power sensing & data recording, wireless communications, and embedded load & damage tracking capabilities, this work will result in the realization of extremely powerful and versatile embedded sensing nodes. During the Phase II Option, the nodes shall be readied for transition by optimization, qualification, & production automation. These new systems will serve a wide range of applications, including: embedded test & evaluation (ET&E), health usage monitoring (HUMS), and structural health monitoring (SHM).